Saturday, November 27, 2004

Microsoft PR firm in India Uses Firefox

I feel a little bit like Homer Simpson writing about things are not really confirmable, but I like Firefox, so what the hey.

According to this blog by Terrier, a PR firm for Microsoft released some screenshots of the next iteration of its search engine. Only problem; the screenshots were taken from a PC using Firefox ! oops.

I don't begrudge the Microsoft staff that uses Firefox, it is a superior browser in every way. It should be motivation to shrink there 50 meg. Behemoth, down to something a little more manageable like the 5 meg Firefox.

Friday, November 26, 2004

SkypeOut minutes NEVER expire.

Skype in another series of great announcements, has extended the SkypeOut credit expiration policy.

Basically before, it was a pre-paid environment - buy 10 euros they expire in six months. Now everytime you make a call, you account balance is extended 6 months. So if your not a heavy PSTN user the 6-700 minutes of PSTN calling you get for 10 euros could last you all year, if not longer.

Short of having no expiration date (which in the pre-paid world is not smart business at all) this is about as good as it can get. It will be interesting to see if Skype can incorporate this never ending expiration idea, into other services they plan to offer, such as SkypeIn, in the future.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Skype to be included in the KaZaA Network

This is a very worthwhile development and good idea by Skype Biz. Dev. By bundling Skype in the adware version of KaZaA, they are pretty much locking up an additional 300 million users worldwide. This puts a damper on the talk of Skype ever including Spyware or Adware, the application on its own will be free or adware, it is user defined.

Suddenly and with the stroke of a pen, I can now call 330 million people using my PC. This clearly puts Skype well in the lead and at the same time drives a nail in the coffin of any other wanna' be upstarts in the residential free VOIP offering.

At 30 million users there was still a chance for someone to compete with Skype, at 330 million, that lead will prove to be insurmountable.

I will do some research on numbers, but it could very well turn out that Skype is the new standard and H.323 and SIP will be playing catch-up now.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Skype for Symbian and Palm OS is coming.....

JD Lasica report from Engadget, interview with Niklas Zennstrom...

We started with Pocket PC, and now we’re looking at other mobile platforms like Windows SmartPhone, Symbian and Palm. We don’t have any launch dates yet for any of those platforms. It’s going to be wonderful to be able to make a Skype call from cell phones or PDAs.

A natural evolution and often talked about enhancement for Skype is its availablity on the Symbian and Palm OS's. So it looks like Skype is working on it - which is great news. If Skype is available and ubiquitous on all platforms both mobile and fixed, can anyone really compete with free calling? The folks @ X-ten better be paying attention.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Americans Flock to Canada's Immigration Web Site

The number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site has shot up six-fold as Americans flirt with the idea of abandoning their homeland after President George W. Bush (news - web sites)'s election win this week.

"When we looked at the first day after the election, Nov. 3, our Web site hit a new high, almost double the previous record high," immigration ministry spokeswoman Maria Iadinardi said on Friday.

On an average day some 20,000 people in the United States log onto the Web site, -- a figure which rocketed to 115,016 on Wednesday. The number of U.S. visits settled down to 65,803 on Thursday, still well above the norm.

Bush's victory sparked speculation that disconsolate Democrats and others might decide to start a new life in Canada, a land that tilts more to the left than the United States.

Would-be immigrants to Canada can apply to become permanent resident, a process that often takes a year. The other main way to move north on a long-term basis is to find a job, which requires a work permit.

Canada is one of the few major nations with an large-scale immigration policy. Ottawa is seeking to attract between 220,000 and 240,000 newcomers next year.

"Let's face it, we have a population of a little over 32 million and we definitely need permanent residents to come to Canada," said Iadinardi. "If we could meet (the 2005) target and go above it, the more the merrier."

The waiting time to become a citizen is shorter for people married to Canadians, which prompted the birth of a satirical Web site called

"As Canadians, you'll have to learn to embrace and use all the products and culture of Americans, while bad-mouthing their way of life," he said.

Having a discussion with a friend this morning we thought it might just be easier for the parts of the US that are actually "progressive" (see map below) to just join Canada, as opposed to having all of the residents immigrate. Now that would be worth some discussion. And if interested, any American Democrat women looking for a change of nationality and want to meet a budding entrepreneur in the technology world, and are in any way, shape or form, interested in my mishapen malformed mug, drop me a comment or two.... :)

Friday, November 05, 2004

SkypeIn + Video + Voicemail = WOW !!

Here is a snippet, from a really good interview with Niklas Zennstrom CEO of Skype Technologies., from previous interviews the timetable for these enhancements was July 05, so this is a huge move up in release date if Silvia is correct.

Silvia Carr of (link in title)

"By this winter, the company plans to roll out more pay features such as voicemail, videoconferencing and SkypeIn, which will let people place calls from a telephone to Skype software users and will allow Skype users to choose a phone number with any country or area code they like - a key advantage to date of VoIP services such as Vonage and AT&T CallVantage. Skype doesn't take its millions of users for granted, employing their suggestions to drive product development and even calling on the most vocal users as beta testers."

I am lucky enough to be one of these beta-testers, I have worked with the Skype staff for over a year now and they are geniuses - and I can't say much except for WOW.... Skype is already a killer app right now, just wait for a few months..

Don't type, Skype - is going to have to be changed to:

Don't Type - pick any form of communication you could possibly want to use to get a hold of me and do that... although that isn't as catchy, maybe I better leave the marketing to the pro's...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Unhappy U.S. Democrats welcome in Canada, Martin jokes

OTTAWA (CP) - Americans can't quite qualify for refugee status but they're more than welcome to move here if they're unhappy about the U.S. election result, Prime Minister Paul Martin joked Thursday.

He was responding to reports from south of the border that some Americans want to move north rather than put up with more George W. Bush.

Despondent Democrats have been musing about leaving on Internet chat rooms, university campuses and in a few phone calls to Canadian consulates.

But officials on both sides of the border aren't taking the talk to seriously. The chatter so far has been mainly limited to jokes and expressions of frustration.

United States of Canada

This really sums it up.... I was up last night late trying to come up with a commentary on progressive forward thinking societies, and the election, but this just sums it up perfectly...
Can someone overlay this map with broadband internet availability/subscription? I wonder if there is any correlation?...... picture courtesy Ian Bruk.